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Nuclear deterrence

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Written for the Canberra Commission in 1996, the analysis outlines the genesis and evolution of the underlying theories that had such a profound influence on the nuclear arms race and US policies towards the Soviet Union. With that as background, it outlines the damaging effects that deterrence dogma had on western interests and world politics; considers whether those effects were peculiar to the prevailing circumstances or are inherent to the concept; and addresses the question of ‘stable deterrence’. Lastly, it dismantles the claim that nuclear weapons kept the peace and reviews the place of deterrence-based policies in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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